Make Ancho Chili Bark: A Smoky, Spicy Snack

January  8, 2018

Spicy, smoky, sweet, and salty: an alliterative quartet that is difficult to turn down. This Ancho Chili-Cinnamon Chocolate Bark comes to us from community member wanderash who posted the snack to our site back in 2009. Her dessert pulls together warm and earthy ancho chilis, sharp cracked black pepper, tart and chewy cherries, and crunchy pistachios and cashews, all tucked under a generous blanket of dark chocolate. She points out that it works particularly well during the holiday season—it does make for a warm and festive gift—but we say you can eat it whenever... wherever!

It’s got a whole bunch of competing but harmonious components that keep each bite from going too far in the direction of any flavor. To prepare, all that’s required is an oven and a spice or coffee grinder. A few years back, A&M tested out the recipe in their Brooklyn kitchens (check out the throwback photos here and had this to say: “Neither of us had ever made chocolate bark before we tried this recipe, and wanderash's version happens to be a great introduction. Waves of smooth dark chocolate are spiced with smoky ancho, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper, and studded with dried cherries, cashews and pistachios. The finished product looks lovely, packs easily and takes a total of about 20 minutes to put together.”

Check out the video below and try the recipe at home for yourself.

What's your go-to chocolate bark? Let us know your recipe in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kelsey
  • wanderash
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Kelsey January 29, 2018
Sounds delicious! I am planning on having a lot of chilis in my garden this year and this sounds like a fantastic way of using them!
wanderash January 8, 2018
Yeyy! I love seeing this pop up again! Thank you!